Tokenism is the policy or practice of making a perfunctory gesture toward the inclusion of members of minority groups. This token effort is usually intended to create a false appearance of inclusiveness and deflect accusations of discrimination. Typical examples include purposely hiring a non-white person in a mainly white occupation or a woman in a traditionally male occupation. Classically, token characters have some reduced capacity compared to the other characters and may have bland or inoffensive personalities so as to not be accused of stereotyping negative traits. Alternatively, their differences may be overemphasized or made "exotic" and glamorous.
Famous quotes containing the words character and/or token:
“She [Evelina] is a little angel!... Her face and person answer my most refined ideas of complete beauty.... She has the same gentleness in her manners, the same natural graces in her motions, that I formerly so much admired in her mother. Her character seems truly ingenuous and simple; and at the same time that nature has blessed her with an excellent understanding and great quickness of parts, she has a certain air of inexperience and innocency that is extremely interesting.”
—Frances Burney (17521840)
“He made for the door, automatically resuming his glasses and leaving in front of her, on the floor, his right slipper in token of his speedy return. Then, his desire exposed and his eyes wicked behind their strong lenses, he attempted to push her toward the bed.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)